Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To refine your search with the author’s first initial…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

If you get a large number of results after searching for an article by a specific author, you can refine your search by adding the author’s first initial. For example, try writing “Freud, S.” in the Author box of the Search Tool.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Jurist, E.L. (2005). Dr.Jurist's Review. Psychoanal Q., 74(4):1170-1173.

(2005). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 74(4):1170-1173

Dr.Jurist's Review

Review by:
Elliot L. Jurist

In this book, Herbert Schlesinger, who has had an illustrious career as academic psychologist, training director of a Ph.D. program in clinical psychology, head of the psychology department at a major medical center, and senior psychoanalyst, sums up a lifetime of experience in contemplating technique. He differentiates what he has found useful from what he was taught, and he offers reformulations of basic psychoanalytic notions while more or less affirming a contemporary Freudian paradigm. This work brims with wisdom for the beginning analyst, but is also absorbing reading for analysts at any stage in their careers. Indeed, Schlesinger's book holds value for psychotherapists of any kind: in dwelling upon the theme of respect for the patient, it exemplifies the thoughtfulness that informs clinical psychoanalytic work.

Schlesinger persistently urges us to aim toward increasing the activity of the patient. He asserts that analysts do not analyze—patients do, and he invokes the (Socratic) image of a midwife to capture the role of the analyst (pp. 31-32). The analyst must strive to avoid doing for the patient, according to Schlesinger, what the patient can do for him-/herself. He situates the work of the analyst between the danger of “absolute certainty” and the “fear of making a mistake” (p. 44). Much hangs on how this middle ground is spelled out.

In the introduction, Schlesinger observes that, while he was trained in the era of ego psychology, he is dubious about aspects of it, especially metapsychology, and he states his preference not to probe and/or identify himself with any theoretical orientation. In a characteristically gruff but articulate formulation, he announces, “I do not find scholastic disputes interesting” (p. xii). It is a breath of fresh air to encounter an analyst who resists the dogmatism that has dogged psychoanalysis since its inception. Yet, one might wonder whether theoretical assumptions can be so easily cast aside. It is salutary, though, for an author to struggle to define where he/she stands.

Schlesinger's theoretical stance can be described as a pragmatic one.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.